A direct correlation between the induced expression of Ia by the host keratinocytes and the infiltration of donor Langerhans cells (LC) into the epidermis was demonstrated in athymic (nude) BALB/c mice that received an adoptive transfer of lymphoid cells from normal semi-syngeneic donors. Neither keratinocyte expression of Ia nor donor LC movement into the epidermis was observed in BALB/c recipients of lymphoid cells from allogeneic C3H nude mice. Further evidence for this relationship was provided by experiments in which the keratinocytes of BALB/c nude mice were induced to express Ia by the injection of normal mouse serum (NMS). By this procedure it was shown that LC precursors derived from allogeneic C3H nude donors were able to infiltrate the epidermis when adoptively transferred into BALB/c nude recipients whose keratinocytes had been induced to express Ia by the simultaneous injection of NMS. These findings suggest that keratinocytes through their expression of Ia may function to facilitate the movement of LC into the epidermis.